Arent Fox, bolstered by a strong year in the firm's intellectual property, civil litigation and government contracts practices, saw revenue per lawyer increase 2.7 percent to $750,000 in 2012 and profit per partner rise to $850,000, a 2.4 percent increase over last year, our reporting shows.
"The year that wrapped up was another very good year, a record year, for Arent Fox," said the firm's managing partner, Matthew Clark, whose practice focuses on international trade proceedings. "We had strong performances all across the firm."
Gross revenue at Arent Fox increased to $242.5 million, up 5.2 percent from the previous year. Net income stayed relatively flat, inching up less than 1 percent to $85 million. The firm increased to 323 total lawyers, eight more than our reporting showed in the previous year.
Clark said regulatory work in the import-export control and health care arenas was "up pretty significantly" for the firm. Food and drug litigation was strong, he said. Arent Fox had a "spectacular" year on the intellectual property front, he added.
"We are one of the firms that continue to do well in the bread and butter of patent prosecution," Clark said. The IP litigation docket, he said, saw an uptick last year. The firm, he said, continues to attract prosecution, counseling and opinion work in the IP arena. "We've built an infrastructure that allows us to practice in that area at a high level," Clark said.
In October, the firm won a $6.6 million copyright damage judgment in a landmark suit over infringement of song lyrics. Arent Fox said at the time "the case is the first to establish copyright infringement liability for displaying song lyrics on a website without a license from the song's copyright owner."
Arent Fox, representing Advanced Aerospace Technologies, Inc., in February sued The Boeing Company and a subsidiary, Insitu, Inc., seeking more than $160 million in damages in a patent infringement suit over technology for the retrieval of unmanned aerial vehicles without a runway.
Looking back over 2012, Clark said transactional work "hasn't gotten back to where it used to be." Clark said "we were optimistic that some of our transactions work would recover."
Earlier this month, Arent Fox, which recently moved into its new office building in Washington, announced that the firm signed a lease for a San Francisco office that is expected to open in June.
The firm said partners and associates from Los Angeles, New York and D.C. will open the office. Mark Katz, the Arent Fox chairman, said in a statement "we intend to add partners strategically as an extension of the firm's strong organic growth in California."
This report is part of The National Law Journal's coverage of 2012 financial results of The Am Law 100/200. Final rankings and full results will be published in The American Lawyer's May 2013 issue and on AmericanLawyer.com. The Am Law Second Hundred will be published in the June issue.
For an early look at the results of The Am Law 100 survey, please see this page.